The Irish News Archive - June 22 1998: Super Saffrons leave London dreaming

CLOSE CONTROL...Antrim’s Liam Richmond is first to the sliothar in this duel at Casement Park yesterday
The Irish News Archive

Ulster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final replay: Antrim 6-28 London 1-7

ANTRIM’S atonement for an inept performance in the intitial drawn encounter with London provided evidence of the gulf in class which separates the two sides.

Antrim needed to perform and the perfect antidote was in Derry’s destruction of Ulster champions Down.

London midfielder Timmy Maloney, scorer of ten points in the first game, got his adopted county off the mark with a point in the first minute of play at Casement Park. That was that.

Despite adding to his score with a free conversion and again with a goal from a questionable penalty, Antrim started and finished the replay as they were expected.

It was an accomplishment complimented by precision scoring, refined defending and dominance in midfield.

London were truly second class citizens in a fixture originally billed as their welcome party to the Ulster Championship.

There were no cries of robbery afterwards.

The long week since Antrim stole a draw with the dubious award of a late score to level, had sufficed as Saffron aftershock preparation. London were simply outclassed and manager Tommy Harrell accepted such a review of the game.

“They (Antrim) are deserving victors. They were too skilful, too good, far to good for us,” he said.

Antrim: S Elliot, F McMullan, E Colgan, R Donnelly, S McMullan (0-1), G O’Kane, C Kelly, P McKillen (0-3), M Molloy (0-2), John Carson (2- 2), C McGuckian (0-1), J McIntosh (0-1), A Elliot (1-5), Gregory O’Kane (1-5), L Richmond (1-7).

Subs: J O’Neill (1-0) for J McIntosh; C McKiernan (0-1) for J Carson, S Bailie for S McMullan.

London: B O’Malley, L Barron, W Lohan, JJ Shiels, B Ryan, S Tooher, B Dolan (0-1), D Browne, P Jordan (0-2), D Murphy (0-1), T Maloney (1-3), J Kennedy, E Quaine, A Henry, C Heaney, C Heaney.

Subs: D O’Hanlon for W Lohan, P McManus for C Heaney.


Ulster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final: Derry 2-17, Down 0-18

A MAJESTIC midfield performance by Oliver Collins and two stunning second-half goals at Casement Park yesterday swept Derry into the Ulster senior hurling final for the first time in 67 years.

The win was no more than the Oak Leaf boys deserved as they turned in a super second-half that had Down in all sorts of trouble as their provincial crown slowly slipped from their heads.

Total enthusiasm and a never-say-die attitude oozed from the winners who will now face Antrim in the decider.

Undoubtedly ‘Man-of-the-Match’ was lanky Lavey lad Collins whose point-taking from frees and play was superb.

He kept Derry in the match during a none-too-exciting first-half when Down showed more flair and craft.

Collins fired over six glorious long-range points from frees in the first half and added another six after the break.

His stickwork around the middle of the park was sound and his promptings brought the best out of his colleagues.

Twice the teams were level in the opening 10 minutes of what was a low key first-half with the Down defence mastering the Derry forwards. But allied to Collins’ scoring was a tight Derry full-back line which snuffed out many dangerous looking Mourne raids.

Derry:K Stevenson; A Hickey, P McCloy, N Mullan; C McGurk, D Cassidy, B Ward; R McCloskey, O Collins (0-12); H Mullan, G McGonigle (1-3), G Biggs (0-1); P McEldowney, D Donnelly, J O’Dwyer (0-1).

Subs: M Conway (1-0) for H Mullan (half-time), M McCormack for Doherty (60 mins),

Down: G Clarke; M Mallon, J McCrickard, B Smith; M Coulter (0-2), M Braniff, P Coulter; D Hughes, J McCarthy (0-3); B Coulter (0-1), N Sands, A Tinnelly (0-1); E Trainor (0-2), G McGrattan (0-2), J McGrattan (0-7).

Subs: M Pucci for Braniff (53 mins), M Coulter for Hughes inj (53 mins), J Brown for Tinnelly (60 mins).

Referee: T McIntyre (Antrim).


CELTIC midfielder Paul Lambert has admitted that uncertainty surrounding his club’s new coach could force him out of Parkhead. The Scotland World Cup player joined Celtic from Borussia Dortmund last season and won a championship in his first season back in Scotland.

But since the departure of coach Wim Jansen, there has been no new appointment and that has forced Lambert to re-think his future.

“I don’t know anything about the names being mentioned for the manager’s job, but it won’t bother me whoever gets it,” Lambert said.

“The new man could come in, take one look at Paul Lambert, and decide I’m not his kind of player.

“If that happens I won’t be hanging around Parkhead trying to change his mind.”

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